Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011 "Over and Over and Over Again"

As wonderful as it was that the Lord Jesus Christ came forth alive from His tomb of death, God's purposes of resurrection only began in our Savior.

"Many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matthew 27:52).
"And you hath He quickened (enlivened) who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1).
"The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Many students and teachers of Scripture believe the saints that immediately "came of the graves after His resurrection" were taken by the Lord Jesus to Heaven as a form of firstfruits offering unto God by His triumphant Son. Furthermore, every time someone believes in the Lord Jesus, a spiritual enlivening takes place in the innermost being of the recipient of God's grace in Christ. And at our Lord's return for His church, the graves of believers will be emptied as bodies are resurrected and united with spirits gone before into the Heavenlies. History teems with the risen life of the Lord Jesus, revealing the glory and power of God over and over and over again.
The present also teems with such glorious and living Presence.

"If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:10-11).

The earthly faculties and members of born again believers possess no inherent spiritual life as of yet. Corruption has not yet "put on incorruption" (I Corinthians 15:53). Thus, our natural proclivities are downward, that is, left to the auspices of our mental, emotional, and physical faculties, we will act from the spiritual and moral death of our inheritance from Adam. Our bodies must be quickened if we are to do the will of God, that is, the risen life of Christ that indwells our spirits must enliven and energize our members and faculties if we are to obey our Heavenly Father. Every act of obedience performed by believers therefore requires a "resurrection" whereby the risen Lord Jesus enlivens us to do the will of God.

In such glorious light, a beautiful truth shines forth from the empty tomb of our Savior. There have been billions and perhaps trillions of resurrections since the morning He came forth from death. Over and over and over again angels have witnessed and rejoiced in the ongoing effect of their Lord's rising from the dead. From the seemingly most inconsequential thought of faithfulness to the pryes and stakes of martyrdom, believers' obedience to God has proclaimed the wondrous anthem of hope: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! And we are risen with Him! Yes, over and over and over again in this life and forevermore our lives reveal His risen life...

"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit... We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us;" (I Corinthians 15:45; II Corinthians 1:8-10).

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